1 Oct 2009

Thursday's newspaper headlines

10:16 am on 1 October 2009

The Samoa earthquake and tsunami dominate the front pages of all the major dailies.

The New Zealand Herald's front page is dominated by a photo of one of the worst-hit villages, Lalomanu, on the southern coast of the main island Upolu. The paper's reporter gives a vivid account of the scene at Moto'otua Hospital in Apia where they brought in body after body. He says the dead are mainly children and old people.

The Dominion Post's headline is "We've been wiped out". It says New Zealand is scrambling to offer support to Samoa. Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi is shocked beyond belief by the devastation which he describes as an unimagineable tragedy. And the paper's front page has a picture of a police officer warning people at Takapuna Beach who were waiting to watch the tsunami roll in.

Under the headline "Worst nightmare of my life", the Press talks to a Christchurch man who has 30 relatives missing or dead in Samoa. Faletolu Senara Tiatia says the news is very hard to take. The paper says the Samoan community held a special mass at the Catholic Cathedral last night to pray for the victims and their families.

The headline in the Otago Daily Times is simply "Samoa devastated". It says the death toll is set to rise with up to a thousand people said to have been displaced by the waves. The paper talks to Salamasina Taufua who was basking in the sun watching her children playing in the sand when a massive tidal wave swept the three youngsters away.